Kentucky Continues Preparation for Ole Miss

Nov. 2, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team continued its preparation for its matchup on Saturday with Southeastern Conference foe Ole Miss by holding a two-hour workout at the Nutter Training Facility practice fields on a picture-perfect autumn morning Tuesday in Lexington, Ky.

After practice, UK head coach Joker Phillips was pleased with his team’s performance, including true freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith, who has received most of the first-team reps in practice this week because of the injury of junior quarterback Morgan Newton.

“He looks good,” Phillips said about Smith. “It is amazing what a game like he had (can do for a player’s confidence). I have never heard him tell anybody what to do because he was always worried about what he had to do, but I saw a lot of that today. I am proud of him and the way he is carrying himself.”

Phillips said one of the most encouraging parts for Kentucky this season has been how the Wildcats have practiced with intensity, which Phillips believes stems from the intensity that the UK assistant coaches have during practice.

“You have to have juice on the field, too, and that is the thing that is encouraging about our kids is that we practice hard,” Phillips said. “A lot of that has to do with the coaches. The coaches are running down the field, chasing them down the field, telling them to ‘get in the huddle, get in the huddle.’ Those are the things that I consider juice.”

Phillips was asked about the Ole Miss offense, which has fared well under the guidance of quarterback Randall Mackey.

“They have played three quarterbacks and this quarterback that they have settled on (Mackey) is a dynamic player,” Phillips said.  “He plays with his legs and arms. They have some skilled guys. They have two really good running backs. One is usually a jet sweeper and they have some really good young receivers also. They have a huge offensive line and might be the biggest offensive line we have faced all across the board.”

On the injury front, tailbacks CoShik Williams and Raymond Sanders saw limited time in practice as they recover from injuries. Wide receiver La’Rod King practice, but did not go through contact, while wide receiver Gene McCaskill and Newton were both limited. Defensive lineman Donte Rumph returned to practice on Wednesday.

Cat Walk Set for 1:15 p.m.: Fans wishing to participate in the “Cat Walk,” cheering the Wildcats when they enter Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, should be at Gate One of the stadium at 1:15 p.m.

Saturday is National College Football Day: Nearly 100 spectators gathered around a field in New Brunswick, N.J., on Nov. 6, 1869 to witness a game unlike anything seen before. The competition between Rutgers and Princeton was "replete with surprise, strategy, prodigies of determination and physical prowess," to use the words of one player. On that day 142 years ago, the Scarlet Knights defeated Princeton, 6-4, but more importantly, the players left a lasting legacy that would evolve into the great spectacle of intercollegiate football.

To honor the birth of an American institution, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic created “National College Football Day,” a holiday held annually on the first Saturday of November.  This Saturday, Nov. 5, will be the eighth observance of College Football Day.

In addition to the Cotton Bowl, the event is sponsored by the Football Writers Association of America, the American Football Coaches Association, the College Sports Information Directors of America and the Athletic Equipment Managers Association.